Friday, 13 September 2013

A week in the Chair


No, that doesn't mean I've been doing nothing but sit around for seven days on the trot. I've been up and about occasionally. Honest. But this has been my first full week as Chair of Governors. 

As this is the beginning of a new school year there has been lots to do, including fine tuning the Terms of Reference of our various committees and thinking about the goals and objectives of the governing body for the coming academic year. What larks. Actually, I quite like tweeking Terms of Reference. Did I really just write that sentence? Oh man. I'm becoming a proper governance geek. 

On Tuesday morning I put Dr. Riding's 'open doors' to Staff and Governors policy to the test by bothering him about something or other. Then we had a 'meet the head' full Governors' session in the evening, where Dr. Riding set out his 'route map' for school improvement. We carefully scrutinised his plans, with governors newbie and veteran asking lots of pertinent questions and the head giving some well thought out answers to our queries. That's what we do, us Governor types.

Parents and carers had their own opportunity to meet Dr. Riding on Wednesday afternoon. I'm a parent as well as Chair of Govs so I thought I'd pop along too. There was a good turn out, with the hall's tiered seating virtually full. The head outlined his vision for the school and he and other senior leaders were available to speak to parents after the presentation. There seemed to be a very positive buzz about the event.

That brings us to Friday when I had my weekly meeting with the head. Most of the time was spent sharpening up our targets for school improvement. Hang on a minute. I'm having a Bernard from Yes, Prime Minister moment. Technically speaking it's not targets that need to be sharp, but the darts that are thrown at targets. But you probably know what I mean.

Last week I attended a Head Teacher Performance Management course, which was useful. Amongst other things I learned a new mnemonic that came in handy when it came to setting goals:  CSMART Objectives.

C CHALLENGING
S SPECIFIC
M MEASURABLE
A ATTAINABLE.
R RELEVANT
T TIME BOUND

Clever, eh? That's what this school needs: some nice, shiny CSMARTies. We're working on it.

So much for my first week in the Chair.

Guy Davies
(Chair of Governors)